Champions Tour weathering the economic storm
SONOMA, Calif. - The Champions Tour is holding its own in a tough economy. In a 2010 schedule given to players at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship Sunday that will be presented to the PGA Tour policy board for approval, the seniors will play 26 official events next season, including new tournaments in New Songdo City, South Korea (New Songdo City Championship) and Biloxi, Miss., (Mississippi Gulf Coast Classic).
That is the same number of events as was on the 2009 schedule, but only 25 tournaments were held this season after the demise of the Ginn Championship at Hammock Beach slated for April 3-5. Dropping off the schedule is the stop held in the Los Angeles area under nine different names since 1990 but played as the AT&T Champions Classic the last three years.
According to the schedule given to the players, the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship will move from Baltimore CC to TPC Potomac in 2010. The Senior British Open (July 22-25 at Carnoustie) and U.S. Senior Open (July 29-Aug. 1, Sahalee CC) again are being played in consecutive weeks. The other of the five majors that changes venue each year, the Senior PGA Championship, will be played at Colorado GC May 27-30.
It is possible the number of tournaments could increase. Negotiations are continuing for two other possible tournaments in 2010 - March 12-14 at a Jack Nicklaus-designed course San Luis Potosi, Mexico, and July 2-4 in Montreal. Also under discussion is a two-day unofficial event in Shanghai, China the Monday and Tuesday following the new tournament in South Korea Sept. 10-12. Decisions on those events should be reached this month.
-- Bill Fields